I’ve never been all that much of a country fan, but it didn’t take much more than a cursory listen of Chris Douglas’ brand new single “Ain’t Getting Any Younger” to convince me that there’s something different about what’s transpiring in Nashville right now in the late 2010’s. “Ain’t Getting Any Younger” has a swelling guitar-driven melody that matches up perfectly with any summer get-together, but that’s not the main reason why it’s got such a firm grasp on my attention at the moment. Chris Douglas gives up a really engaging musicality in his studio debut, but the real treasure to behold in this track is its crown jewel-vocal, which I think is one of the most lovable and warm to make an appearance in his scene this season.
The words that come cascading through the air in “Ain’t Getting Any Younger” feel more like excerpts from a bar stool therapy session than they do commonplace pop fodder, and I think that it’s worth pointing out that there is never an instance where it feels like Douglas is placating us with a tired premise about aging or developing the general sense of mortality that comes with getting older. He’s got a very organic style of prose here, and I think that it if he were to take the same formulaic approach to an acoustic song, he would probably come up with even more hypnotic harmonies than he does in this situation (which is saying a lot when we strip the song down to its nuts and bolts). These lyrics are the real article, as is the man crooning them to us so effortlessly in this track.
I really love the scooped equalization of the guitars in this single. Though it’s more associated with heavy metal music, when you eliminate that pesky midrange noise from the tonality of these electric six-strings, you come up with an earthquake-inducing riptide of rhythm that is only equaled by the lush vocal of Chris Douglas himself. “Ain’t Getting Any Younger” is a stadium-shaker, and along with all of the machismo of its melodies comes an emotional narrative that is accessible to anyone who has ever taken a second to stop and look back at the path that led them to this very moment in time. It would be awesome if there were more country songs as multidimensional and affective as this one is, but at the same time, I think that’s precisely why this single shines as brightly as it does.
It isn’t very often that someone gets the kind of buzz that Chris Douglas is getting right now before they’ve even cut their first record, but in that same breath it can be said that an artist like Douglas definitely doesn’t show up on our collective radar very frequently, either. He exhibits capabilities of an uncommon variety in this single, and for what “Ain’t Getting Any Younger” lacks in industrialized sugarcoating, it more than makes up for in uncaged vivaciousness, sonic exuberance and effervescent grooves that were tailor-made for those long hot summer nights spent under a blanket of stars. The bottom line? You’d better believe I’ll be keeping a close eye on this young man moving forward.